Here comes the sun…and the Map!

What an amazing day! Heaton Festival 2015, the sun shone and the people came, hundreds and hundreds of them!

It was an early start, I suddenly remembered I needed to print that chicken on Pets Corner! And there was a map to be packed..


Off we go in  – Those of you who’ve helped in the workshops will recognise the eco-friendly Dotty Art trolley. Very handy for transporting projects and equipment:)

Along with the 20 metre square sections of map, we had 70 large pennant flags, 100 small house pennant flags, 100 small blank pennants and a gazillion pom poms in varying shades of green. The idea being that people would make their mark on the map by planting a pom pom tree or placing a pennant in the part of Heaton that they love.


Here’s the map laid out in the sunshine at the start, with one pom pom tree on the Medics’  sports ground on Cartington Road. Look at our lovely Mini Marquee…and the bunting flags printed by all the wonderful workshop participants.


This gives you and idea of the scale of the piece!

As the festival opened more and more people came along to see the map. It was wonderful to hear all the positive comments about the project, and to hear peoples reminiscences of the area. everyone enjoyed finding their home, their school,their church, their favourite cafe or pub. And they made their mark on the map…




We used up all of the flags, I cut another 100 blanks and they all got used up too! people were writing their names, drawing their pets, making lovely designs…and the pom pom trees got more creative as the day wore on!



There was barely a minute without people around the map, it was such a joyful way to spend a day so thank you all for joining in with us:)

Thank you Heaton Festival for giving me the opportunity to make the biggest artwork I’ve ever tackled! ( let me know where you want the map now!)

Big thanks to everyone who helped make this happen…

All the workshop participants : Y9 students at Heaton Manor, everyone who ‘dropped in’ at Martha and Mary’s, the Y4 pupils at Chillingham Road Primary School (hope you win that vote Outdoor Learning at Chilli Road School) everyone at Skills for Life at Trewhitt Road, the lovely ladies and gents at Belle View residential home and the Brownies of St Gabriels.

Steph and Kath were superb on the day, explaining the idea of the map and encouraging people to make their mark (and big thanks to the lovely Rob who dashed off to get more kebab sticks – for the flags and pom poms!) Thanks so much!

Andrea and her Pom Pom army – there was enough for a forest!

Several lovely friends also helped with the final finishing touches so very special thanks to; Clare – for superb painting and printing skills in the ‘Last Push’, Ruth and Ingrid for tea making, pennant printing, inspiring conversation and tea making, other friends I haven’t been in touch with for a month and also a big thank you to my family, Nick, Tilly and Suzy for putting up with the hessian dust and lack of a front room for the last month!

(and for the folks that told me that there is a bit of Ouseburn Road missing and a little street off Jesmond Park West – I’ll add them in….after a bit of a sit down!)

Now its time for that deck chair, wellies, wine and Glastonbury on the telly;)

And if you’d like to pop along I’ll be at the Jesmond Dene Art Market First Birthday celebration on July 11th…come and see what I do when I’m not making crazy huge maps! 

Jesmond Dene Art and Craft Market

(and for my friend John, who thought London might be interested in a map project – Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


Published by Donna Cheshire Textiles

I am a professional textile artist specializing in Appliqué and Free Motion machine stitching. In order to create a unique colour palette, I hand dye my own fabrics and then use these to create the landscapes and coastal scenes recorded in my sketchbook. I often incorporate recycled or vintage fabrics in my work - they add meaning to the story the work is telling. I love being so close to the Northumbrian coast and countryside and I especially like taking time walk and draw these stunning landscapes

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